Animal Farm: A Portrayal of the Russian Revolution

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George Orwell wrote Animal Farm in 1945. Animal Farm was meant to portray the Russian Revolution that was going on at the time. If Orwell were to openly oppose the ways of the communist party he would have undoubtedly been prosecuted. Instead Orwell wrote Animal Farm to express his hatred for communism in a discreet way; he had done this by making it simple and childlike. Therefore he called Animal Farm a “Fairy Story”. However, Animal Farm is not a fairy story but an allegory. An allegory is a story in parallel with something real.

One of Orwell’s goals in writing Animal Farm was to portray the Russian (or Bolshevik) Revolution of 1917. Many of the characters and events of Orwell’s novel parallel those of the Russian Revolution. Manor Farm is a model of Russia, and Mr. Jones, Old Major, Snowball, and Napoleon represent the dominant figures of the Russian Revolution like Nicholas, Lenin and Trotsky.

Mr. Jones represents Tsar Nicholas II, the last Russian Emperor. His rule was marked by his insistence that he was the un-contestable ruler of the nation. During his reign, the Russian people experienced terrible poverty and upheaval, marked by the Bloody Sunday massacre in 1905 when unarmed protestors demanding social reforms were shot down by the army near Nicholas’ palace. As the animals under Jones lead lives of hunger and want. The lives of millions of Russians worsened during Nicholas’ regime. When Russia entered World War I and subsequently lost more men than any country in any previous war, the outraged desperate people began a series of strikes and mutinies that signaled the end of Tsarist control.

When his own generals withdrew their support of him Nicholas abdicated his throne in the hopes of avoiding an all out civil war but the civil war arrived in the form of the Bolshevik Revolution, when Nicholas, like Jones, was removed from his place of rule.

Old Major is the animal version of V. I. Lenin, the leader of the Bolshevik Party that seized...
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